Hi everyone! My name is Cherrie. I am in my second year of MSc Strategic Marketing (online, part-time). In this blog, I will talk about why I decided to study a Master’s programme at Imperial College Business School for a career change.
Here is a bit about my background. I studied accounting and management for my Bachelor’s degree in Hong Kong. I chose accounting as my major because it is a fact-based and influential subject in business. However, I did not want to work in audit firms nor in banks like my peers did. Instead, I was late to realise that I prefer to work in a more people-facing and creative role.
So, I went into sales. I liked being in the front office and impacting a company’s bottom line, but I craved more strategic exposure. At the end of the day, sales is a revenue-driving function, but marketing is the engine behind that creates demand. I was very keen to learn more about marketing. After four years in a sales role, I decided to search for a marketing Master’s programme that suited my needs.
When I was researching for a programme, my priority was to find one that was practical, part-time and gave me exposure to the international business environment. I wanted the programme I chose to add value to my current skill set and contribute to my career development. While there are lots of different marketing Master’s programmes offered by prestigious universities around the world, I was particularly drawn to the MSc Strategic Marketing (online, part-time) at Imperial for a number of reasons:
Relevant programme content
The programme content is highly up-to-date and incorporates what is happening in the global market. As we have seen with COVID-19, the world can change overnight, and consumer behaviour transforms with it. Marketing is about being relevant and identifying consumer needs before they do.
As I was doing my research on the programme, I saw case studies of today’s global businesses used in programme materials to help students understand key concepts and theories. The programme also covers many practical hot topics such as customer relationship management (CRM), analytics, emerging technologies, and innovations that businesses need to bring value to customers.
International business exposure
We live in the 21st century and it is not too ambitious to think globally. On MSc Strategic Marketing, I was thrilled to learn how diverse all the trends and insights covered in the programme are. The faculty demonstrates extensive knowledge about the topics and how they evolve distinctively in different cultures. Because it is an online programme where presence in London is not required, the cohort is truly diverse. It provides a great learning opportunity to work with people from different backgrounds, in different time zones, and with different experiences.
To me, this exposure is one of the most important aspects of the programme as I learn a lot from my peers. It always amazes me how we all come from different backgrounds but share similar passions, learn and empower each other, and grow together throughout the journey!
Part-time study format
Being able to continue working while studying for my Master’s was also essential for me when I was looking for the right programme. Essentially, as most of the programme material is online, I can arrange my own time to study the programme content that fits into my schedule. Juggling between study and work is never the easiest thing to do, but the online format of MSc Strategic Marketing helps make life easier for a full-time worker like me.
After a few months on the programme, I secured a media consulting role, and I have been working at the company for nine months already! We provide advisory services to global advertisers to help them develop bespoke internal media management workflows and processes. Given the programme's practicality, I could apply the data analytical skills I learned from the programme material to media performance evaluation for clients.
The marketing concepts and key trends discussed in class allow me to share insights with clients from different industries and regions. As I am currently working on projects spread across Europe, the Middle East and Africa and Latin America regions, the exposure of working with fellow students from different cultures also enables me to better understand and meet client needs, and as a result, enhance rapport with them.
Making a career change takes courage and time. It is an important investment when it comes to selecting a post-graduate programme to facilitate the change. Speaking from experience, I wanted to make it right from the beginning. I wanted to make my investment worthwhile and see the immediate result in my professional career. Just over one year into the programme, I have no doubt that the knowledge and skills I am gaining in Imperial College Business School will take me a long way in my career development.